Skip to main content

THE WAY OF BIRTH by Jennifer Hawley-Zechlin

In many spiritual traditions the mythologies of creation and destruction are woven together, each being dependent on the other.

Birth, death, and resurrection create cycles of eternity, each incomplete without the other.  In the poem The Way of Birth, I explore some of these symbols whilst at the same time honoring the process within myself. 

Pain is present in endings - whether it comes as the end of a relationship, a child getting ready to head out on their own, or even as the taming of our own selves. 

Whatever the destruction, it's important for me to remember that creation and newness comes on painful heels.  The Way of Birth is the way of life.
Photograph by Maia Nature Photogrpahy

~ The Way of Birth ~

The Universe has been pregnant with us
for a very long time now,
You and I.
We have been together, united but separate,
Growing in Universe-Utero.
You, a fetus awaiting all the good things to come;
Sunshine warm on your thin pale face,
Diamond studded sand for your bare feet to walk on
Leaving golden glitter between your toes,
The music of birdsong in the morning as you rise
and whispering breezes to lull-a-bye you at night.
I have been your placenta.
I have sheltered you and protected you,
delivered nourishment from the Womb of All Life,
and allowed you to expel your waste.
Through me.
I have not been your life-source.
Your birth is not dependent on me.
And yet, without me, you would never make it to life
Free to breathe for the first time
Sweet, luscious air scented by lilacs
and Summer heat.
I, though so very different from you,
would not have existed without you.
I never would have plumped up,
Crimson-Purple, filled with life,
Clinging passionately to the Universe's Uterus.
Without you, without us, both awaiting birth,
I never would have become feeder.
Maybe that's where we made our mistake,
You and I.
Perhaps, like an overdue infant,
we became too comfortable in that
confining Womb.
taking each other for granted
and refusing to feel the pains of labour.
Still, labour will come. Birth can not be avoided.
The pains have already begun.
I have already begun to tear away from our shared Womb's wall.
I can provided you no more,
and though it will be frightening and a little violent
(Because birthing is always a little violent),
soon you will be born.
Do not fear, my love.
When it is over, you will be able to rest
Safe in the arms of your Mother.
You will grow and toddle and live.
And I too will be birthed.
Tearing away completely and making the same journey you do.
and ready to enter the Universe and be transformed.
For this is the way of birth.
For both you and I.

(Thursday January 31, 2013. 1:47am)

Jennifer Hawley-Zechlin: “I am an amateur poet, forever student, lover of life, and professional dreamer and thinker.  I live with my partner of 24 years and our 16 year-old daughter in the mountains of Southern California where we are kept by a couple of dogs, a silky black cat, and a hen with attitude. Professionally, I have just begun seminary classes in addition to a couple of classes for pleasure.  I work as an ordained chaplain for a large international inter-faith community and am involved with a non-residential monastic order based on creativity, meditative practice, and soul friendships as a founding member where I am helping to form the curriculum and program of formation. I read far too many books, experiment with painting and drawing, and sing, badly and joyfully, in the middle of the night. I enjoy anything that connects me to life itself, feeling strongly that everything is a bit interconnected and truly awe producing, if only we can open ourselves to seeing the beauty in it all.  I can be found on Facebook here and more of my writing can be found at The Anthology of Oaken Grace.

~If you are interested in seeing your poetry appear in this blog, or submitting a poem by a woman that has inspired you, please click here for submission guidelines. I greatly look forward to hearing from you!~ 


  1. I really enjoyed reading this. "Universe-Utero"...I liked that!Your poem drew me into it and I felt completely there while reading it. They were my most mindful moments of my day because your words and descriptions had a beautiful way of capturing my attention. Thank you! Looking forward to reading more of your poems.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

I AM STILL HERE by Janavi Held


This was composed by a very gifted and beautiful soul: a regular contributor to our poetry project, and dear friend of mine, Janavi Held, whose life is gradually being taken from us by an incurable illness. She has been suffering from Complex Regional Pain Syndrome and Internal Adhesions for six painful years now, and neither her insurance nor the government healthcare will help her. She reaches out to us, her sisters, as a last plea. This is a poem she wrote yesterday on her birthday, in which she offers us the gift of her friendship. May it touch your generous hearts and inspire you to reach out to her in her plight.

Dear Friends,

The last time I was able to leave the house was by ambulance on my way to the hospital. After many long hours in the emergency room I was admitted and taken upstairs. After everyone left I sat on the hospital bed, knees to chest, bracing my body against the pain and trembling.

The light of this cold day was fading. I turned my eyes to the la…

IMAGINE A WOMAN by Patricia Lynn Reilly

This poem invites you to look upon yourself with loving kindness…
Gazing at your own true reflection, you will discover that everything you have longed for “out there” is already within you! I invite you to love your creativity fiercely. Faithfully plant seeds, allowing under-the-ground dormant seasons, nurturing your creative garden with love and gratitude. In the fullness of time, the green growing things thrust forth from the ground. It's a faithful, trustworthy process. AND it takes time and patience.  Blessed is the fruit of your creative womb! I invite you to trust your vision of the world and express it. With wonder and delight, paint a picture, create a dance, write a book, and make up a song. To give expression to your creative impulses is as natural as your breathing. Create in your own language, imagery, and movement. Follow no script. Do not be limited by the customary way things have been expressed. Your creative intuition is original. Gather all of life into your inner c…

DEPRESSION by Veronica Carpenter

Here goes my vulnerability A heart on a sleeve The typical person who looks at me May not see the same me that I live with daily The mind in the air, swirling with possibility When the darkness rallies/gathers/swirls When I am left to solitude This paper-thin garb unzips Here comes depression          
No I don’t want to advertise So flash a smile Those who are close get to see Through the veil, it’s really not that thick Circumstances in life like to stab at the rib Stumble, fall behind the door Shut out the world Feelings well and weigh down Strength hidden deep in the core So deep that sometimes it’s forgotten Here comes the darkness My old friend Sweeping through my every move  Doubts, fears, un-named masked men Oozing like honey, sticking to everything
Patience is required to get on this ride There is a cycle but its pattern is unknown Slowly my gift will unwrap itself Stay on the path Coming back to that which never truly left me Just laid sleeping out of exhaustion from the fight Dormant in winter…